anthropology · architecture · design · happiness · health · play

superkilen urban park by BIG architects, topotek1 + superflex

Happy Friday! I hope you have plans to go out and play. I totally want to play here!

Superkilen

the “black square” at night

superkilen‘ is a kilometer long park situated through the nørrebro area just north of copenhagen’s city centre, considered one of the most ethnically diverse and socially challenged neighborhoods in the danish capital as it is home to more than 60 nationalities. the large-scale project comes as a result of an invited competition initiated by the city of copenhagen and the realdania foundation as a means of creating an urban space with a strong identity on a local and global scale.

more via superkilen urban park by BIG architects, topotek1 + superflex.

community · happiness

The Happiest Countries in the World – The Atlantic

Universal health care
Countries with national health care. Does it make them happy? Image via Wikipedia

Turns out Americans aren’t so happy right now; we didn’t even make it into the top ten. In fact, eight of the top ten happiest nations are in Europe.

There is more to happiness than raw economic growth. What happens when you measure countries by employment, health care, and life satisfaction? The United States and Europe run in opposite directions.

#1: Denmark

Employment Score: 5th
Self-Reported Health:15th
Employees Working Long Hours: 3rd
Disposable Income:18th
Educational Attainment: 18th
Life Expectancy: 25th

I was surprised to see that Danes worked some of the longest hours of all the nations polled. They also didn’t score super high on life expectancy or disposable income.

#2, Canada, had a seemingly more balanced ranking, ranking tenth in long hours worked and 2nd for self-reported health. Norway at #3 also had pretty good scores all around.

Hmm, maybe it’s the cold weather?

Check out the whole list at The Happiest Countries in the World – Bruce Stokes – Business – The Atlantic.

 

architecture · behavior · brain · design · emotion · environment · happiness · health · mental health · Nature · psychology

Using Nature Therapy in Prisons and Hospitals

I’m seeing lots of different examples of people using nature to help heal, from the physically injured to those with aggression issues cut off from the rest of the world.

For example, I was just listening to a program this weekend on the local NPR station about a biologist at Evergreen State College who is greenifying a local prison, as well as working with inmates to grow new prairie grass and frogs (I can’t find the original story but here’s some similar coverage):

The frog rearing program here pairs inmates with scientists from the Evergreen State College as part of the Sustainable Prisons Project. So far, the frogs grown at Cedar Creek Correctional Center are doing better than those grown by professional zoologists.

LIESL PLOMSKI, graduate student, The Evergreen State College says, “They have a lot more time here to care for the frogs that a zoo wouldn’t have. I mean they’re here all day with them, so they change the water frequently. They feed them more frequently than a zoo could ever do.”

And then this morning stumbled upon this story:

Henning Larsen Architects recently won an international design competition with their plans for the new Odense University Hospital in Denmark. Situated close to the city center amidst a scenic old-growth forest, the OUH will use the surrounding landscape as a way to heal its patients. The holistic facility features a light footprint that incorporates nature at every turn to create an environment replete with peace and serenity. Daylight floods in through the glass-lined buildings, and rainwater will be collected to feed the many ponds and surrounding landscape.

more via Denmark’s New Odense Hospital is a Healing City of Glass Amid the Forest | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

I am blown away by all the different applications of nature into therapy and recovery practices.

anthropology · architecture · community · creativity · culture · design · environment · happiness

The Most Colorful Cities In The World

Living in the Pacific Northwest I can definitely appreciate the idea of adding more color to one’s life! Interestingly, it tends to be warmer climates that have the more colorful buildings, although Denmark and Finland has some of the most colorful interiors (and now exteriors) I’ve seen. Color has an amazing effect on human mental health and mood. People often talk about getting back into nature to see all the colors. Now, the colors can come to you (unless you live in a community with a rule against bright colors).

Urban life doesn’t have to be bleak and gray — in fact, many of the world’s cities pride themselves upon the bright palettes used to liven up their architecture. From the garish blue-walled buildings of Jodhpur, India, to the gentler pastels of Charleston, S.C., these cities are far from monotonous.

Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC
Nyhavn, Denmark
Buenos Aires, Argentina

More of The Most Colorful Cities In The World: Pics, Videos, Links, News.